Airbus nets more orders, delivers fewer helicopters


Airbus Helicopters saw increased orders in 2018 but delivered fewer aircraft year-on-year.

The French manufacturer secured 381 civil and military helicopter net-orders last year – up from 335 orders in 2017.

Whilst the rise in orders is a good sign for Airbus, fewer customers are taking delivery. Airbus helicopters saw deliveries drop more than 10% in 2018, down to 356 orders from the 409 it m made in 2017.

This marks a drop-off in helicopter deliveries year-on-year, as operators are delaying taking deliveries of new aircraft due to an excess of helicopters on the ground right now.

Airbus still has a steady backlog – including a 100-aircraft order from a Chinese consortium penned in June 2016. The company is currently setting up a final assembly line in China to fulfil this order, while the Chinese market started taking delivery of the 100 H135s last year.

Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO said: “Our commercial performance in 2018 demonstrates the resilience we have developed as a company to help us navigate what remains a challenging environment.

“Even though the civil and para-public market remains at a low level worldwide, we have managed to maintain our global leadership thanks to our wide and modern portfolio of products and services and our international footprint.

The breakdown of commercial and military aircraft has not been specified. But Airbus’s civil H125 model secured the most gross orders – with 162 models ordered in 2018. The H145 was the second most-popular model securing 121 gross orders.

2018 marked the first orders of the Airbus H160, securing 15 orders and signed a contract with Babcock to be the launch operator of the H160.

A full breakdown of the gross orders can be seen below.

Whilst there is still an oversupply of the oil-and-gas H225 following a widely reported crash in the North Sea in 2016, Airbus has started repurposing the H225s in other markets including coastguard variants.

In the military market, Airbus attracted orders for 29 NH90s, 28 of which will be flown by the Qatari Ministry of Defence.

Even said: “Meanwhile, we have increased our market share in the military sector by securing major contracts with leading armed forces worldwide, with best-in-class solutions. These positive trends give us the means to prepare the future and continue our transformation, with innovation at our core and customer loyalty at heart.”